When I was a kid, my favorite board game was Monopoly. Everyone started with the exact same thing – $200. But, eventually, one person owned every piece of property on the board and collected rent from all of the other players. At that point the game was over, but if I was the one on top, I never wanted it to end. It is fun to own everything and leverage that into more power, wealth and income.
Even as a kid, I considered how the game would be different if the players all started with different amounts of money. Or, what if the game kept going and we just passed our position onto another person – our children?
While the real world is obviously not the same as a game of Monopoly, the concentration of power, wealth and income has a significant affect on our society. The issue of income inequality dominates discussions surrounding the 2016 presidential elections and has propelled unconventional candidates in both the republican and democratic parties. Unfortunately, the conversation is likely to be louder in 2020 and even louder every election thereafter.
Very few solutions seem to have a reasonable chance of closing the gap between those few people who are winning the game and the majority who are losing. And, all of the proposed solutions seem to be political solutions.